It's been 14 months, and I'm still not satisfied...

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Sarah Long arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met her Mr Miner soon after. They're based on the NSW Central Coast and he does drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) to country NSW. Sarah came out to Oz as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!


It’s been 421 days since I’ve been fully satisfied. That is one year, one month, three weeks and six days. I yearn for it, dream about it, go weak kneed for it!

It’s an age-old argument among couples everywhere: who’s getting it, who’s getting enough, when and where they’re doing it.

And worse than all of that, Mr Miner is getting it every night, for seven days straight while he’s at work.

I am of course talking about sleep (get your minds out of the gutter).

Yes, Mini Miner is nearly 14 months old and still isn't sleeping through the night. It’s exhausting, particularly when I’m doing it alone, but when Mr Miner is home I also feel guilty that he isn’t getting the sleep he needs during his break (despite the seven, unbroken nights he’s just had!), which is where the arguments begin.

My friends, who are also relatively new parents, (albeit to a much sleepier baby) were having the sleep argument this weekend at our place.

"You have more sleep that I do," she said.

"But I get up at 4.30!" he insisted.

"Yes, but you wake me up too and then I can’t get back to sleep. Then I have to stay up later getting all my stuff done," she retaliated.

"Well if you got up when I did..." he said. And so it went on, without an obvious resolution.

So, yes, this is partly a new mum thing, but it’s also been going on much longer, thanks in part to our differing schedules.

Our previous argument would have been that, yes, Mr Miner works for seven days of long shifts, but then he gets seven days of R&R, whereas I only got two days off to get everything done AND I often travelled for work too.

The trouble with Mini Miner is that sleep is his nemesis! Nap time is a fight barely worth having and he hates his cot. 

And before you ask, yes, we have tried it all, from crying it out (mainly us) to the no-cry sleep solution and everything in between. My Mum helpfully (one might say gleefully) pointed out that we get the baby we deserve. I have never been one for sleep, from my colicky newborn days to now, so why would my baby be any different?

I have had almost three months to write this column and for that whole time I’ve stared at a blank screen, unable to think of anything to say. Now it's midnight, two days after my deadline, and thoughts and ideas are rushing around my brain like crazy, flying in and out before I can catch them. I’m grabbing at words and phrases before they wash away from my poor sleep-deprived brain. I need to write them down before I forget, but everyone knows that Rule One of getting back to sleep is not waking yourself up by turning the lights on. So instead I’m texting myself (Rule Two is not to look at your phone) while Mr Miner and Mini sleep beside me. (What’s that saying... 'Why sleep like a baby, when you can sleep like a husband?')

This is ridiculous, but not uncommon for me. Bedtime onwards is where I do my best thinking. I lay down, turn the lights out and my brain (which hasn’t cooperated all day) turns on... What will we have for dinner tomorrow? How can I get that sofa I saw on Gumtree? Why are my concerns so mundane and mum-ish? Should I have voted in the UK election? What if World War III happens because I didn’t vote? Will we have to run to the hills and stockpile guns like in The Walking Dead. Don’t think about zombies! Well at least they’re not real... Whatever you do, don’t think about that Criminal Minds episode where the woman was attacked at home alone. Quick! Turn the lights on!

It’s now 1am and I’m still wide awake. So obviously, I begin Googling 'how to fall asleep'. Page after page of 'Real tips, that actually work!' There’s acupressure or a warm bath (when would I have time for that?), a cold bedroom (our house is freezing), warm milk (and then I’ll have to get up to go to the toilet), candlelight, music, the list goes on.

Mr Miner rolls over and murmurs, "What are you doing? Just go to sleep!" And when I gently tell him that I appreciate the advice, but that is what I’m trying to do, he helpfully suggests that sex might help. "God, no!" I reply, "I’m way too tired for that!"


Our Miner's Girl also has her own website: check out her blog here at http://minersgirl.com/

And here's lots more from Sarah on Mining Family Matters:

If you've got a question for Sarah or would like to tell your own tale about mining life, we'd love to hear from you. Click here!